A Step Toward Protecting
Veterans' Second Amendment Rights

Getty Images photo by inhauscreative/Dieter Spears

By Randy Kozuch. Jan 1, 2024

If there's one thing every member of Congress should agree on, it's that America's veterans deserve the full benefit of all the freedoms and constitutional safeguards those veterans served to protect. That has not been the case, shockingly, when it comes to Second Amendment rights. Fortunately, bipartisan coalitions from both the U.S. House and Senate took a major step in reversing this sorry state of affairs last October. The story of that long-overdue reform is a cautionary tale of how seemingly "reasonable" 'gun-control' laws can be exploited to disarm law-abiding Americans … even those who have served under arms.

A common tactic of 'gun-control' advocates is to insist they "support the Second Amendment" and only want to "keep guns out of the wrong hands." That sounds like a reasonable proposition at first blush. But it gets a lot more complicated when it comes to deciding who should actually be disqualified from having firearms and how those determinations are made. To prevent overreach and abuse, these measures must be targeted at those who actually present an enhanced risk, and the determinations that lead to that finding must allow the person to challenge the government's assertions before a neutral adjudicator. Simply put, depriving someone of their constitutional right to arms requires—at a minimum—adequate due process.

Most guns owners know that federal and state laws ban certain categories of people from acquiring and possessing firearms. These laws are enforced at retail firearm dealerships via background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). So-called "prohibited people" are also subject to stiff criminal penalties, including up to 15 years in prison, for illegally possessing guns.

Under federal law, these prohibitions include those who have been "adjudicated as a mental defective." .....


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